Guest blog by a Current Student (self-catered undergraduate)

This week we have a guest blog written by one of our current students. Jasmine Hui is studying BA Liberal Arts and is letting us know about her experience in university accommodation:

Guest blog by Jasmine Hui
“As an international student, it was not possible for me to fly over to Exeter just to take a look at the campus and the accommodation offered by the university. The accommodation website was a great help for me because it provides all the detailed information about each hall and includes high-quality virtual tours.

My first choice was self-catered halls with en suite rooms, however, I was really late to submit my accommodation application (right before the final deadline in August) and ended up in a catered hall. I like to be in charge of my own meals so it wasn’t great for me.

I stayed where I was for two months then decided to do a room move to one of the townhouses in Birks Grange Village when the university had a vacancy. The main reason I wanted to move was because I wanted to cook. So for the rest of my first year, I lived in a self-catered hall and shared one bathroom with another girl in my house.

I loved my new accommodation so much, I think that was when my university life really started. I had the best housemates I could ever ask for, they were so warm and welcoming when I moved in and they made sure I felt comfortable in the house. I really enjoyed being able to cook what I liked to eat every day and I appreciated having a private bathroom.

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From Birks it took me roughly 15 minutes to walk to the centre of the Streatham Campus and 20-25 minutes to walk into town. I dreaded walking that distance at first but I got used to it and it was fine afterwards.

The most important thing before choosing your accommodation is knowing what you want, for example, if you want to share toilet and kitchen facilities with other people, or if you want to be in charge of your own meals.

If you enjoy being alone and want high level of privacy, studios are perfect for you. If you want to meet more friends and don’t mind sharing, you can opt for en-suite rooms with a shared kitchen or single rooms with a shared toilet and kitchen. If you are not a very good cook or can’t be bothered to make your own meals, a catered hall is probably your best option. Obviously the prices vary between different types of accommodation (self-catered or catered) so make sure you are alright with the price arrangements and pay dates before you sign up for your ideal accommodation.

(Note: As an international student without a UK guarantor, I would have to pay full year’s rent at the start of the school year in non-university private residences in the city.)”

Do I have to live in university accommodation in my first year?
No, you are not required to live in university accommodation for your first year if you do not wish too. There are a number of private accommodation options in the city for you to choose from with a variety of options available. We strongly advise those students who fall outside of our Accommodation Guarantee e.g. students entering their second/third/fourth years or Home/EU Postgraduate students to secure a private residence in the city for peace of mind. For further information and advice, take a look at our private housing webpage.

Thank you to Jasmine for her insight into university life – to see more images of Birks Grange Village townhouses, go and check out our Virtual Tours.

Next week – we will have another current student guest blog and they will be advising us of their university experience as a postgraduate student in self-catered halls.

Accommodation Catherine

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